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Confirmed travel-related case of dengue reported in Hawaii

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A confirmed case of travel-related dengue has been reported in Hawaii, according to the state Health Department.

The department says this case, as well as several others from last year, were in individuals with recent travel to countries where dengue is commonly found. The new case was reported on Oahu.

The last confirmed case of locally acquired dengue in the state was in 2016, DOH said.

While Hawaii is home to the type of mosquitoes that can carry dengue, DOH said the disease is not established or endemic in the state, and cases are currently only seen in travelers.

But dengue outbreaks do occur in many parts of the world including Central and South America; Asia, including the Philippines; the Middle East; Africa; some Pacific Islands, including the U.S. territories of American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands and Palau; and in the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico.

Symptoms of dengue include the sudden onset of fever, nausea, vomiting, rash, and body aches, which typically last two to seven days. Although life-threatening illnesses can occur, most people recover after about a week.

DOH recommends protecting yourself and your family by preparing for travel to these areas and taking precautions, as well as reducing mosquito breeding areas at home.

“Reducing mosquito populations reduces the chances of dengue being transmitted to other people,” said DOH in its news release. “In areas without reported dengue cases, eliminating mosquito breeding sites in and around your home is a good practice.”

Common breeding sites include buckets, water-catching plants such as bromeliads, planters, rain barrels, or even cups left outside — and simply pouring out containers of standing water eliminates the potential for mosquito breeding.

The DOH Disease Outbreak Control Division website offers more information about mosquito-borne diseases.

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